Congratulations, graduates! SCAD commencement in pictures.

November
24
2014

Here's to the 413 new alumni from Savannah College of Art and Design who graduated in the university's 35th commencement ceremonies. We agree with Academy Award-winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher's characterization of you as individuals and as a class: you are brilliant 'containers of gifts that you will share with the world.' Please keep us posted on all that you do.


 

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Made in the South artisans to watch

November
25
2014

The fifth installment of Garden & Gun’s Made in the South Awards issue is on newsstands. Who better to partner with to honor regional artisans than Savannah College of Art and Design, a clearinghouse of emerging makers? Before they were announced, this year’s Made in the South trophy-takers in the categories of Outdoor, Food, Home, Drink and Style & Design were celebrated at SCAD. Below are a few of our own Made in the South stars who got their start in SCAD classrooms.

Groovebox by Eric Green
Made In: Savannah, GA and San Luis Obispo, CA
Est.: Launching Spring 2015
Price: Dependent on product/size

When SCAD was building its experimental micro-house community, SCADpad, it needed a solution for the community garden and found it in Eric Green’s (M.F.A., design management) Groovebox. The modular planters fulfilled the mandate for a sustainable, adaptable design. The transformer of indoor-outdoor furniture, all pieces in the collection - planters, table, fire pit and stool – come flat-packed for snappy assembly. Eric’s user-centered design approach recently caught the attention of TED Talks organizers who invited him to furnish the outdoor spaces of their annual event in Vancouver, BC.

groovebox-furniture.com

Q’wik 15 by John Gray Parker
Made In: Savannah, GA
Est.: Coming soon
Price: $10,000 for one deck and two hulls

John Gray’s (M.A., industrial design; M.F.A., service design) passion for sailing and certification as a US Sailing Level 1 instructor is reflected in Q’wik 15, a modular catamaran boating system for junior sailors. The ultimate racing boat is easy to learn, but complex enough to build skills. And it’s versatile. Q’wik 15 can transition from high-performance powerboat to sailboat and rowboat, adding value for families making a life-long investment in the sport. A model of Q’wik 15 turned heads at IBEX, even before John Gray built the full-scale prototype with help from SCAD’s marine design students. Q’wik 15 will have the rare distinction of fostering both promising young designers and sailors.

Frannie’s Gluten Free Muffins by Frances Shaw
Made In: Atlanta, GA
Est.: 2010
Price: $6.49 for the 4pk

Non-GMO organic fruits, veggies, eggs and coconut oil are among the ingredients in Frances Shaw’s muffins. But it’s what’s not included that makes her products a staple in the natural foods section of 200 Kroger stores. Frances didn’t partner with certified gluten-free bakery Pure Knead to be hip, she did so out of necessity. Celiac Disease forced Frances to leave SCAD during her senior year, seven credits shy of earning her degree. But she turned a set back into a line of baked goods that are safe for people with most major food allergies. Natasha Sokulski (B.F.A., advertising; B.F.A., graphic design, 2011) designed the packaging and branding.

franniesglutenfree.com

Folk Fibers by Maura Ambrose
Made In: Austin, TX
Est.: 2011
Price: $3,900 for Indiana quilt shown

Maura Ambrose’s (B.F.A., fibers, 2006) Folk Fibers was born from a love of farming, natural dyes and quilting. Her live-off-the-land philosophy and skilled hands turn weeds like goldenrod and worn out scraps into stunning quilts that will be around long after we’re gone. Color drives Maura’s approach to her new works of art. It also might be the spark that flamed the interest of Martha Stewart and John Mayer, who tapped her to stitch the cover art for 'XO'. If your work could draw the world to wherever you were, wouldn’t you also choose to live in your own personal paradise?

folkfibers.com
 

Service Brewing Co. and Meredith Sutton
Made In: Savannah, GA
Est.: 2014
Price: $8.99 for the 6pk


Meredith Sutton (B.F.A., metals and jewelry, 2003) didn’t know her gift of a home brewing kit to Kevin Ryan would pack such inspiration. Three years later and her office is the tasting room she designed for Service Brewing Co., a veteran owned craft brewery. Meredith presides over the creative branding for the brewery started by Kevin and Master Brewer Dan Sartin, both Army veterans. Her artistic vision is reflected in the bottles and labels, which also bear the mark of house illustrator and Army vet Katherine Sandoz (M.F.A., illustration, 1997; MF.A., painting, 2005). Meredith quite literally also creates buzz by keeping the brewery bees, whose honey fuels the fermentation process and adds local flavor to Service Brewing Cos.’s small batch brews.

servicebrewing.com
meredithannesutton.com

Heidi Elnora
Made In: Birmingham, AL
Est.: 2006
Price: $2,200 and up

Heidi Baker (B.F.A., fashion, 2002) launched her bridal atelier with her signature Build-A-Bride collection, which included one simple silhouette and a dozen different trims. The permutations and combinations that brides could create were endless and so, it seems, are the customers who knock on Heidi’s door in search of a work of art to wear on their big day. Today she has three different dress collections, which can be found in more than 30 boutiques nationwide. But Heidi is most proud that every one of the trims she has designed is handmade in her home state. Previously a contestant on Project Runway, Heidi returns to television in Spring 2015 on the TLC show inspired her customizable gowns, Bride by Design.

heidielnora.com

Morgan Rhea by Morgan Richards
Made In: Charleston, W. VA
Est.: 2014
Price: $2,500

The “Silently Speaking Gratitude" collection by Morgan Richards (B.F.A., accessory design, 2014) is inspired by loved ones who have influenced her life. Morgan inscribes personal stories into hand-made leather goods to create one-of-a kind, heirloom-quality pieces. As if the gesture of painstakingly etching one’s gratitude into bags and accessories crafted of Buffalo hide wasn’t enough, consider the attention these tokens of affection have garnered. Her Ronald Briefcase won the Best Student Made category of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards and was featured in InStyle Magazine. Morgan and those she commemorates won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

Morganrhea.com

Do you know a SCAD student or alumnus who should be on this list? Please include your suggestions in the comments below.

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Congratulations, graduates! SCAD commencement in pictures.
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Studio Logic: inside the studio of Marcus Kenney

June
20
2014

For the next post in our Studio Logic series, exploring the studios of professional artists and designers, we interviewed Marcus Kenney (M.F.A., photography, 1998). In a two-story Victorian in the heart of Savannah, Georgia, Marcus works across mediums - sculpture, paint, photography and collage - to mastermind reflections on wildlife and Americana. In addition to being among a collection of artists responsible for the aesthetic of Savannah College of Art and Design’s micro-house experiment, SCADpad North America, Marcus recently completed a residency at Lux Art Institute and is currently showing his paintings at Georgia College Museum.

Thread: What is your ideal work environment?
Marcus Kenney: I am pretty flexible when it comes to working space. I have worked in a variety of studio of spaces, from 5000 square feet warehouses, to a 100 square feet garage. My current studio has a bit of a domestic appeal as opposed to an industrial one. I enjoy the neighborhood and interaction with the neighbors. I have a large vinyl collection and during the workday I am constantly flipping over records and listening to random recording artist.

T: Do you work best surrounded by objects that inspire you?
MK: Studios tend to reflect their owners and I admit that my studio is a mess and full of lots of contradicting objects. There are thousands of books, hundreds of small sculptures and boxes full of interesting objects like ladies dresses, wigs, fur coats and hats from around the world and rolls of wall paper. There are some cobwebs in the corners and surprises to be found; things I have forgotten I had and things that I haven't used in years. There are lots of reasons to create art and my art is about our culture. Historically, the way to study a culture is by the objects it produces. I find it responsible to study our ephemera and detritus and edit and shape them into valid cultural conversations.

I enjoy turning the world into my art supply store and making a game of searching for the right elements to create a work of art.

T: Did your studio change when you evolved from 2D TO 3D work?
MK
: I currently have four horses living in my studio! Honestly, it has not changed much. I have always created sculpture and so there are large amounts of materials lying around. I still paint occasionally, so all of my painting materials are there, as well. I like to keep lots of things on hand because I never know how the day is going to unfold and where inspiration may strike. Some days I may start a painting and other days I may work on sculpture. Often, I won’t go to the studio at all, but spend the day photographing or searching for materials to work with. The pleasure of being a contemporary artist is that there are no set rules.

“My studio is a super buffet with all kinds of options to feed my creative hunger.”

T: What’s one thing you can’t work without?
MK
: Recently it has been a thimble on my finger. I have worked with one so much the last several years that my forefinger feels a little naked without it. For many years I carried a camera with me 24 hours a day, and before that it was an X-Acto knife with a box of new blades. It changes as my work changes. 

T: What's another unique aspect of your studio?
MK
: I only work on the first floor. Upstairs has been reserved for other artists to work in. I have had some really special and unique artists work upstairs. Monica Cook (B.F.A., painting, 1996), Scott Griffin, Lorie Corbus (B.F.A., fibers, 2002), Paige Russell, Cedric Smith, Jameid Ferrin, Tobia Makover (M.F.A., photography, 2001) and others have all created inspired work upstairs.

Here's to creating inspired work and the places where we make it.

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The future of preservation: Will a new generation take up the cause?

June
16
2014

Growing up, I regularly thumbed through family photo albums. This ritual of navigating the worn, yellowing pages of images, as if I were traversing history, was eye opening. The photos contextualized my place in that history. So I panic when I think that my daughter may not experience that same sense of belonging because these physical signposts do not exist for her to explore, at least not in a form that she can touch or feel, except to swipe at them on the screens of the devices behind which they’re trapped.

Photos of my great grandfather and grandmother from our family tree.

This angst I have over not being a better steward of our young family’s growing photo collection makes me a preservationist. That’s what a group of students from Savannah College of Art and Design helped me to understand. The last people you might associate with being champions for the old and non-digital, all younger than me, recently gathered to present their plan for engaging new generations in the pursuit of preservation. Their solution, a historic preservation patch for Girl Scouts, is a collaboration between SCAD’s historic preservation department, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.

A prototype of the patch designed and created by SCAD students.

One of the first things the scouts needed to learn, they realized, is what exactly historic preservation is. It’s a good question, actually, for adults and kids, one that promotes an awareness of our surroundings and the laying down of our devices in order to delve into community. As the SCAD students, ages 21 and up, teach in their guide for leaders and scouts, historic preservation goes beyond saving buildings to include protecting artifacts, culture and, yes, even family history and photos. Though Savannah, where the students are pursuing their degrees, is an epicenter of historic districts and preservation, their guide is intentionally broad enough to relate to any city in the U.S.


SCAD historic preservation students partnered with graphic design, dramatic writing, fibers and sequential art students to create the guide. To earn a patch, scouts must fulfill seven activities that fall under different categories of preservation, like personal history.

Any tool that promotes historic preservation to the next generation must be conducive to mass appeal, lest the fervor for ‘saving places’ dies with the present generation. One indicator that doesn’t bode well for the future of preservation, for example, is the average age of those who read Preservation Magazine: 61.

The apparent apathy toward historic preservation among young people is something that keeps preservationists like SCAD professor Connie Pinkerton, who led the students in the creation of the Girl Scout patch, talking.

Connie, a former Girl Scout whose daughter is also a Girl Scout, notes that her millennial generation students must carry the torch or, more appropriately, an LED light in support of historic preservation. A quick survey of her students about what could possibly have sparked their interest in historic preservation as an area of study is a case study for hope.

Savannah’s storied, historic buildings, many of them rehabilitated by SCAD, drew Bethany Emenhiser (M.F.A., historic preservation) to historic preservation. “People made things with their hands and those things and places are still standing. But today, even in our high-tech world, homes are being blown over by tornados,” she said of her admiration for preservation.

“Going green and sustainability are so in, but preservation was the first sustainability.”

That observation is astute for a student whose peers, by contrast, spend hours upon hours in a building near hers using the latest in 3D printing technologies.

Likewise, Jake Eichorn (B.F.A., historic preservation) became interested in preservation when studying at SCAD opened his eyes to the treasures of historic Savannah.  The 21-year-old, who will spend his summer helping a professor rehab a Victorian, gets starry-eyed talking about property record chains and a future career fixing up and flipping historic homes. For Jake, breaking down the fundamentals of historic preservation into a form that ten and 11-year-olds can understand was a rewarding challenge, just as the pursuit of the historic preservation patch will no doubt be also.

I’m glad my daughter, armed with our family photo album, will have the option to pursue this patch if she so chooses.

The historic preservation patch will be unveiled at the 2014 National Preservation Conference (Nov. 11-14) at SCAD Savannah.

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AD's Margaret Russell's 'simple truths' for graduates

June
2
2014

A good commencement address is irresistible. Whether graduating or firmly planted in career or school, the distilled life experience and wisdom are too convenient and enlightening to pass up. And so, in case you missed Savannah College and Art and Design's 2014 commencement ceremonies, here's speaker Margaret Russell's 'simple truths', which she delivered to SCAD's 1,560 graduates in Atlanta and Savannah after tracing her rise to the helm of Elle Decor and now Architectural Digest.

I’m going to end with some simple truths, some things to keep in mind as you enter the workforce. These are more pragmatic than they are profound. Actually, they’re tips to help you do well at work and to keep you from annoying your future bosses.

Be early.
I remain challenged by this, but I’m usually still the first person at the AD offices each morning. It’s better to consistently arrive early at work than to have to consistently stay late.

Be a trouble shooter and problem solver.
These are key qualities that everyone in every industry looks for when hiring. Think ahead and always anticipate the unexpected.

Expect good and don’t gossip.
Don’t ever write emails that might land you in trouble if read in public. Email should communicate facts, not emotion.

Be aware of the power of social media and never post a photo when it’s clear that you’ve had far too much fun.
Your bosses are also on Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and they will find you. Try imagining that your social accounts have a pause button and take a breath before you hit send.

Embrace change as it’s the most constant aspect of your future.
The happiest people around you are those who are flexible and adapt well.

Don’t be afraid to ask; ask for everything. Just never have a sense of entitlement when you do.
Some of the best stories published in the magazines I’ve edited are there because I had the nerve to go after them.

Don’t be afraid, period.
Life’s too short. Conquer your fears today.

Pay attention.
Listen, stay focused, be ambitious, have common sense, show good judgment.

Do the right thing.
You’ll never go wrong by doing what you truly believe is right.

Give back.
I love AD, but the most rewarding work I do is philanthropic or political. Volunteer, develop your personal sense of social responsibility and integrate it into your daily life.

Think green.
Please think green because your forebears did not. Use your genius to save our planet.

Find your passion and your joy.
I hire people who are passionate about their work. I’ve always been told that there’s no place for emotion at work, and indeed that’s true. But I know for sure that being passionate about what you do will drive you to far greater success.

Feed your creativity. Get off your iPhone. Look up.
Don’t passively email someone sitting a few feet from you in the office. Talk to each other, write thank you notes, read books.

Don’t settle. Expect the best. Want to be the best.

You are so well prepared to make your way and to change the world and we can’t wait to see what you’ll do. Congratulations, class of 2014. We honor and admire you. Here’s to your brilliant future. Here’s to tomorrow.

Share your favorite or most memorable piece of commencement advice by posting it in the comments below.

 

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VIDEO: Dr. Maya Angelou's 1998 commencement address

May
29
2014

In this season of graduations and rites of passage, we are pleased to feature one of the shining moments from Savannah College of Art Design's 35-year history: Dr. Maya Angelou's 1998 commencement address in Savannah, Georgia. Listening to Dr. Angelou's speech to SCAD grads reminds us of the gift of her legacy and our gratitude for her timeless life's work.

 

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Drone captures art and design students sculpting the sands of Tybee

May
4
2014

When you're a student at Savannah College of Art and Design, your medium isn't restricted to the traditional and the classroom extends to the ocean.

 

Hundreds of students, alumni and faculty focused their talents on the sands of Tybee Island, Ga. to create SCAD Fine Arts' and Foundation Studies' 2014 parade of sculptures that welcomed summer's arrival and enthralled thousands of winter-weary beach goers. In addition to indulging in the open air studio, each individual entrant or team competed for $5,000 in prizes. The first place winners are:

Sand Sculpture and Alumni’s Choice Award: #4 “Walden”

Chennon Roberts, B.F.A. animation student, Auburn, AL
Josh Beam, B.F.A. illustration student, North Charleston, SC

Sand Castle:  #1 “Ice”

Adrian Tinoco, B.F.A. visual effects student, Key Biscayne, FL
Gian Lombardi, B.F.A. visual effects student, Doral, FL

Sand Relief: #13 “Turtles”

Emily Luking, B.F.A. fibers student, Ellicott City, MD
Raven Brown, B.F.A. fibers student, Marietta, GA
Lydia Hartley, B.F.A. fibers student, Wilmington, NC

Wind Sculpture: #7 “Wing-tipped vortices”

Jamie Niles, B.F.A. painting student, Richmond Hill, GA

Gray’s Reef Best Underwater Creature: #7 “Hermit Crab”

Benjamin Breslow, B.F.A. industrial design student, Platte City, MO
Jeff Dull, B.F.A. industrial design student, Strasburg, PA
Michael Soleo, B.F.A. industrial design student, Lexington Park, MD

35th Anniversary Spirit Award: #7 “35 Years"

Hugo Aguilera, B.F.A., painting, 2011
Will Penny, M.F.A., painting, 2013, B.F.A., painting, 2008

SCAD Castle Award: #4 “Poetter Hall”

Paula Hoffman, professor, foundation studies
Matt Toole, professor, foundation studies

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Art as a community heartbeat

May
2
2014

Starting off a few years ago as a tiny gallery on Desoto Row, Art Rise Savannah is becoming a hub for the independent art community and the city of Savannah as a whole.

Every first Friday of the month, Art Rise hosts the Art March, connecting the galleries, shops, and cafes from Forsyth to Victory for a three hour tour of Savannah's arts district. It also hosts exhibition fellowships to help artists showcase their work with Fresh Exhibitions, holds an indie arts market outside the gallery to help craftsman sell their products and supports local artists in everything from networking to getting health insurance. We caught up with the executive eirector and interim secretary for the Art Rise board, Clinton Edminster, and to get his insights on how art impacts a community and how young artists can start a creative scene in their own city.

 
Photographer Pablo Serrano discusses his work during the Feburary Art March. Photo by Art Rise staffer Logann Fincher.

Thread: How do you get people involved to build an art scene or an arts organization where there isn’t one?

Clinton Edminster: I think the key here is to show people a reality that doesn’t exist yet by using clues that are present now. To simply have people imagine the future then ask them if it’s something they would enjoy being a part of. If their answer is yes, then get them excited about putting that structure together. I think that’s really the main key: just getting people in. I found this a fascinating challenge because, unlike other places with a well established arts community, I wanted to be a part of developing it, and I think a lot of other people do as well.


An onlooker explores a installation during the March Art March at Sicky Nar Nar. Photo by Art Rise staffer Lauren Flotte.

It’s also important to just start talking to people, to know your environment and figure out specifically what you want to do so you don’t reinvent the wheel. You have to fill a vacuum somewhere, but you have to figure out what that vacuum is first. So you talk to people at shows and you become a part of the community, and from there you can figure out where the gaps are and what you have to offer them.

What it really comes down to is just a group of people willing to do the dirty work and a lot of paperwork. You have to go beyond the romantic idea of starting an arts organization, because the infrastructure is vital to developing a community.


Painter Jared Seff does some impromptu portraiture during the January Art March. Photo by Art Rise staffer Peterson Worrell.

T: Other than bringing art to Savannah, how else has Art Rise changed the community?

C: Well, that can be broken down in a couple ways. First, you can break it down demographically.

The cool thing about art is that everybody can enjoy it. There’s some work to be done about making art accessible, but as soon as you do that, everyone can enjoy it—no matter your age, race, ethnicity, background, education—because art is so extensive. Theater, poetry, abstract, representational, whatever.

It’s all awesome and it’s all about the visual things that people enjoy. Art is a heightened sense of entertainment and it’s a community-based sense of entertainment.


Clouds & Satellites playing at Foxy Loxy Cafe during the Art March. Photo by Art Rise staffer Peterson Worrell.

Art Rise is in the business of creating opportunities and awareness of this incredibly accessible medium that everyone can enter in on at relatively the same level—whether they’re art appreciators or artists. It’s really all just about people talking to people in the presence of art. It’s sort of like art’s not even the point anymore, it’s just the excuse we all have to go out on a Friday night and meet people we might not meet otherwise. It creates a dialogue that's different from one you would have at work, or school, or at a football game. It’s more intellectual, more uplifting and you can gain a better vocabulary for describing your own life. It can be lofty, but it can also be very basic in the best way. So that’s where I see art bringing communities together demographically, and that’s what we’re really pushing for.


Art Marchers ride the trolley from stop to stop. Photo by Art Rise staffer Peterson Worrell.

Also, economically the Art March is pretty great. Foxy Loxy’s busiest day ever was the April Art March. And for Foxy, that’s saying a lot. The Art March has become a night where people come explore down here past the park, and I think it remains pretty true that it’s the busiest day of the month for all of the galleries here. It creates a heartbeat, and it connects people and they see it and talk about it and it gets dispersed. It’s really valuable from an economic standpoint, but it needs to be seen as valuable in that way, too.


Adam Gabriel Winnie's exquisite realism series during the December Art March. Photo by Art Rise staffer Peterson Worrel.l

T: How else does art help a community? Why is it important?

C: Not only is art really valuable from an economic standpoint, but it creates a heartbeat. It connects people. They see it and talk about it and it gets dispersed. It also expresses a vocabulary that really plays on the subjective experience that we all feel, in a different way than language can, because language is pretty solidly defined. One word means the same thing for hopefully a lot of people and it’s a very logical medium. Language can be used in abstract ways of course, but essentially it’s designed to be logical. But visual art is a different vocabulary, used to talk about things in ways we can’t yet express verbally, and that’s important. We’re always going into the future, and it’s important for us to be thinking 20, 40 years ahead about concepts we might not even really fully understand now. When you look at art, you feel a different way that you can’t really explain, and that feeling is a complex emotion that later you’ll be able to actually talk about and discuss. Art creates the future; it sees the future. It helps build up how we discuss it.

Art Rise is gearing up for the May Art March on the 2nd of the month, so check out the map, plan your route, and get your walking shoes ready. 

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Video: Sidewalk Arts 2014 and the winners

April
29
2014

Sidewalk Arts 2014 saw 1,000 Savannah College of Art and Design students, alumni and prospective students transform the pathways of Forsyth Park into a colorful carpet of inspired chalk art. This timelapse by photographer Andrew Forino (B.F.A., photography, 2014) captures the mellow frenzy of the day: artists drawing against the clock, their audience lured ahead by one brilliant illustration after another.

The winners include:

Best in Show: Madison Burger (B.F.A., illustration, 2010) and Katie Campbell (B.F.A., graphic design, 2004)

SCAD 35th Anniversary Award: Illustration students Jordyn Moss and Taylor McCaslin and animation students Grant Whitsitt and Abigail Slupecki

Graduate Student Award: Illustration student Sanaz Bagheraloloum Yazdani

Gray’s Reef Award: Animation student Jose Matheu and architecture student Ricardo Chiuz

Drawing Minor Award: Animation student Laurie Murray

Individual Student Award First Place: Illustration student Nguyen Tran

Group Student Award First Place: Illustration student Hyeonji Kim and fashion marketing and management student Soobin Lee

Alumni Award First Place: Cliff Lummus (B.F.A., graphic design, 2006; M.F.A., writing, 2011)

High School Competition First Place: Kari Hiner

 

 

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Looking forward to Sidewalk Arts

April
19
2014

To get ready for Savannah College of Art and Design's Sidewalk Arts Festival (April 26), we're taking a visit back to some photos from previous years. The festival is a nod to an art form as old as the 16th century, but we're bringing it into the present like never before. The 33rd annual festival hosts a brand new section of the competition for 3-D chalk art (complete with matching glasses, of course), and from now through April 20 you can vote for your favorite chalk drawing in the first annual Virtual Sidewalk Arts Festival for eLearning students and alumni. So mark your calendars and prepare to get a little messy.

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Snapshots of SCAD alumni in the South
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